Hyderabad: The Citizens for a Better Public Transport in Hyderabad has said that the Concession Agreement signed between the State government and L&T in September last year was detrimental to public interest as one of the features of the agreement stipulates that the government has to pay a penalty if the Conditions Precedent as set out in Article 4 are not fulfilled. The L&T reportedly paid the performance Security (PS) of Rs 360 crores on March 4 and the financial closure has been completed on March 14, it pointed out.
Addressing mediapersons here on Friday, Mr B Ramakrishna Raju, State convenor of National Alliance of Peoples Movements (NAPM) and Prof. C. Ramachandraiah, CBPTH convenor, said that several crores of public money will be doled out to a private company due to the “thoughtless” agreement signed by the officials as the L&T gets benefited without any investment. It is also a serious loss to the exchequer and soon the metro rail project may become another CWG scam of Hyderabad.
They pointed out that according to the agreement, within 60 days of payment of the PS, the government shall have handed over at least 90% of the Right of Way to the Site (i.e 269 acres of land, ten properties of GHMC and road widening to minimum of 100 feet) and obtained permission from the Railways for the metro to go over Secunderabad station. In the event of delay, the government shall pay a penalty of Rs 36 lakh per day (i.e 0.1 percent of the PS) from the 61st day i.e May 5. That means the amount of penalty has already reached Rs 5.76 crores this day (16 days at the rate of Rs 36 lakhs per day).
For the site that was not handed over even by 90 days, from the 91st day, penalty should be paid at a rate of Rs 1.000 per day for every 500 sq.mts or part thereof until the Right of Way is provided. The 91st day starts from June 5, 2011.
They said that the Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) authorities announced that two stretches—Nagole to Mettuguda (8 km) and Miyapur to Ameerpet (12 km) will be handed over soon to L&T for commencing the works.
They demanded that the HMR authorities put the facts before public regarding the status of the lands and Right of way handed over to L&T and the penalty that the government would pay from May 5 onwards. The HMR and Urban Development Ministry authorities owe an explanation to the public, they demanded.
Pointing out that the HMR had announced that metro works will start from Nagole and Miyapur, they asked why the HMR or L&T are not thinking of starting the metro works from either Falaknuma or Jubilee Bus Station which are the two end points of Corridor-2? They also asked as to why land acquisition notices were not served in the Purani Haveli Road-Shalibands stretch in the old city in this Corridor? They felt that that the HMR and L&T were playing hide and seek with the public regarding the change of alignment in this corridor. Asking why the works should be started from Nagole and Miyapur, they suspected that it was because 100 acres each of land was allocated to metro for real estate at these two end points. “They want to raise land speculation and benefit from the hype. It is more a real estate project in the garb of public transportation,” they charged.
They challenged the project promoters to start the construction first from the three points where the metro corridors intersect (Ameerpet, Osmania Medial College and Patny flyover) and show that it will not create traffic problems in the city. They also demanded that the L&T make public the exact locations and designs of the stations, including the intersection points. Even today the public are kept in dark about the exact locations of stations, the extent of area required and the properties to be acquired. They also demanded that the HMR authorities make public the conditions stipulated by the Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways regarding construction of flyovers like Khairatabad before the metro works start. (NSS)